AFI postpones Nate Parker event

Nate Parker responds to rape case controversy
Nate Parker responds to rape case controversy

As controversy continues to swirl around "The Birth of a Nation's" Nate Parker, the American Film Institute has postponed an event with him.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, AFI will for now not be moving ahead with a planned Friday screening of the movie or a Q & A with Parker, who wrote, directed and stars in the film.

AFI dean Jan Schuette sent a message to the institute's fellows (its term for students) explaining why the screening with Parker was being postponed.

"I have been the recipient of many different passionate points of view about the screening, and I believe it is essential that we discuss these issues together — messenger and message, gender, race and more — before we see the film," Schuette reportedly said in the message. "Next week, we will be scheduling a special moderated discussion so we may explore these issues together as artists and audience."

Related: Will rape story kill 'Birth of a Nation?'

The film, about a slave uprising led by Nat Turner in 1831, was scheduled to be shown to second year fellows on Friday.

Parker has recently come under fire for an alleged rape during his college days.

In 1999, Parker -- then a student at Penn State -- and his roommate were accused of raping an 18-year-old fellow student. Parker was acquitted of the charges; his roommate, who is a co-writer of "The Birth of a Nation," was convicted; his conviction was overturned on appeal.

It was recently revealed that the accuser committed suicide in 2012. After that news broke, Parker wrote a Facebook posting expressing his sadness over her death.

Related: Nate Parker 'devastated' over rape case

The Toronto International Film Festival recently announced that it will be going ahead with screening "The Birth of a Nation."

"TIFF is proud to help bring Birth of a Nation and the important story it tells to audiences," festival organizers told The Hollywood Reporter. "We will present the film as planned."

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